PILOTSTAR: FUGRO´s Berthing Aid Sytem

Cadden developed for FUGRO a high precision portable berthing aid system, compliant with pilot requirements for docking. The system can help improve the safety and efficiency of complex marine operations.

berthing adi system

The PilotSTAR system comprises two fully autonomous PilotSTAR wing units, that are set up by the pilot on both sides of the tankers wing.

The solution address the issue for which during complex marine operations, environmental factors can affect the location of tankers, FPSO and CALM buoys. Precise real-time positioning and heading data, combined with metocean data, is essential to vessel pilots to give advanced warning of conditions that may affect the movement and motion of the vessel.

The Fugro PilotSTAR berthing aid system provides positioning assistance during the offloading operations of tankers with a CALM buoy or in tandem with an FSO/FPSO. The system integrates with metocean/hawser tension sensors to provide a complete overview of the prevailing conditions affecting the vessel. This allows appropriate action to be taken to keep the vessel on course and within operational safety margins.

The PilotSTAR system comprises two fully autonomous PilotSTAR wing units based on G-NAV, that are set up by the pilot on both sides of the tankers wing. These units together with the permanent equipment installed on the CALM buoy/FPSO/FSO allows for the calculation of a positioning solution based on Real Time Kinematics (RTK) and moving base line ( MBL ) algorithms.

The data exchange amongst the units is made via radio using a method known as Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA). It allows several units to share the same channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The units transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot. This allows multiple stations to share the same transmission medium. This is an example of how G-NAV real-time tracking solution G-NAV comes useful and out-of-the-box.

A rugged carry case provides the pilot’s display, including tanker, FPSO and tug navigation data, prediction and historical tanker position, hawser tension and metocean information (wind and sea current).


  • Light and portable Equipment
  • Rugged reinforced components for long term durability and reliability
  • Lightning proof
  • Quick and East installation
  • User friendly software
  • Integration of AIS information and metocean sensors
  • Virtual Unlimited Autonomy (Hot swappable battery)
  • High durability and non-explosive NiMH battery pack
  • Sub decimetre position accuracy
  • 0.01 degrees accuracy in the azimuth determination
  • Sensitive enough to highlight slow speed motion
  • Multi-baseline determination
  • Integration of metocean data
  • Integration of hawser tension data
  • Integration of specific client data
  • 2 UHF band: 869 MHz and 400 MHz
  • Configurable alarms
  • ATEX (for offloading buoy application)


  • Tanker DGNSS position accuracy – 1 m
  • Relative position accuracy (Tanker/FPSO/CALM Buoy) – 5 cm
  • Heading accuracy (20 m wing unit separation) – 0.01°
  • Bow and stern speed accuracy – 1 cm/s (0.02 knots)
  • Rate of turn (ROT) – 0.1°/min
  • Dedicated AIS receiver – Yes
  • Wi-Fi connection to pilot display – Yes
  • Tanker wing unit dimensions – 20 x 18 x 20 cm (L x W x H)
  • Battery capacity – 14 hours hot swappable
  • Wing unit weight – 3.6 kg

PilotSTAR belongs to FUGRO. It is effective and reliable and it improves safety during all phases of loading operations. Reducing the risk of collisions is just one advantage, because it also reduces costs.

If interested in PilotSTAR please visit FUGRO PilotSTAR page.